Tailgating

University Heights is a small city with slightly over 1,000 residents nestled in the west-side of Iowa City, next to Kinnick Stadium. For the seven days a year that the University of Iowa's Hawkeyes play at home, University Heights fills with thousands of fans. The University Heights Police Department is responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the residents of the City, as well as everyone that travels to the area. While home games are a fun and exciting time, the Department works hard to prevent and respond to emergencies. Our priority is to keep tailgating safe and enjoyable and we ask that you help us to achieve this goal.

safety Tips

  1. Drink plenty of water and non-alcoholic beverages. Don't wait until you are thirsty to drink. Hot temperatures and alcohol consumption can easily compound causing dehydration, seizures, and heat exhaustion. Every season UHPD responds to numerous medical emergencies relating to the overconsumption of alcohol.
  2. Spend your time with family and close friends. Watch out for each other. Never accept drinks from unknown sources.
  3. Make sure you keep a charged phone on your person. It is easy to get lost in crowds, especially when intoxicated.
  4. Select a designated driver.
  5. Recognize the signs of alcohol poisoning: semi- or unconscious state, slow and/or irregular breathing, cold and clammy skin, and a strong odor of alcohol. Alcohol poisoning is a serious medical emergency.
    • Never leave some alone to "sleep it off."
    • Call 911 immediately. 
    • Turn the person on their side, using a pillow placed at the small of the back to keep him or her in that position. This will help prevent choking should the individual vomit.
    • Remain with the person until emergency care arrives.

law Enforcement priorities

Tailgating brings particular law enforcement challenges to University Heights. The Department works to balance the interests of visitors and fans, with those of residents who offer parking and tailgating on their property, and with those residents who do not participate. 

  • Minors possessing or consuming alcohol is illegal under University Heights City Ordinance and Iowa State Code. Underage drinking has serious public safety implications. Each year in the U.S. approximately 97,000 students between the ages of 18 and 24 are victims of alcohol-related sexual assault or date rape. 
  • Selling or providing alcohol to minors is a serious misdemeanor and cause for arrest. Landowners and tenants may also be charged with controlling a disorderly house on University Heights City Ordinance #109.
  • Public intoxication and corresponding offenses such as disorderly conduct, assault, and impaired driving.
  • Possessing an open container of alcohol in public is prohibited by City Ordinance #141. That said, officers do not prioritize open container enforcement during home games. Iowa Code 321.284 prohibiting open containers of alcohol in vehicles is strictly enforced.
  • Many drivers are arrested by UHPD, and surrounding law enforcement agencies, each game for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (OWI). A first time offense can lead to the loss of driving privileges for three months, hefty fines, and a night in jail.
  • The sale of liquor, wine, beer and other alcoholic beverages without a license is bootlegging. Whenever liquor, wine or beer are sold or there is a cost to obtain access to the alcohol, a license/permit is required. Bootlegging is a serious misdemeanor under Iowa Law. Tenants and landowners caught bootlegging may also be charged with controlling a disorderly house under City Ordinance #109.
  • Anyone selling any item or goods from a residential zone must have a permit from the City (University Heights City Ordinance #33). Violation of this ordinance is punishable as a simple misdemeanor with a fine of $250.

parking

Parking enforcement is important for public safety. Keeping roads clear means pedestrians are safer, emergency vehicles have access, fire hydrants are clear, sidewalks are open, and traffic control devices are visible. The influx of pedestrians and visitors during home games requires an increased level of attention to parking regulations. Parking violations can result in a $45 fine and/or immediate towing. Parking is prohibited:

  • On most residential streets during home games.
  • Within any intersection.
  • Within fifteen feet (15') from the intersection of curb lines, or if none, then within fifteen feet (15') of the intersection of property lines at the intersection except at alleys.
  • Within ten feet (10') upon the approach of any flashing beacon, stop sign or traffic-control signal located at the side of the roadway.
  • Within five feet (5') of a fire hydrant.
  • In front of a public or private driveway.
  • On a sidewalk.
  • No commercial vehicles used for pickup or delivery of merchandise or goods or passengers shall be stopped or parked in a lane of traffic when a parking space, loading zone or any other space is available at the curb or in an alley within one hundred fifty feet (150') of any building where pickup or delivery is to be made.
  • On the parking, which is the area between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjacent sidewalk, or, if there is no sidewalk, the area within six feet (6’) of the lateral line of the roadway.
  • In front of a curb cut or ramp located on public or private property in a manner which blocks access to the curb cut or ramp.
  • At any place where official signs prohibit stopping or parking.